Sore throat is a common condition usually caused by a viral infection, and less commonly by a bacterial infection. Sore throat usually lasts about one week. It is a self-limiting condition meaning it goes on its own without treatment. There is no treatment for sore throat caused by viral infection. Even when a sore throat is caused by bacterial infection, in most cases it will get better without an antibiotic treatment (NICE, 2018). Tyrozets used to be a popular choice for many customers who looked for sore throat relief. Tyrozets were discontinued a few years ago, however, some people still ask about them, and many look for Tyrozets alternative throat lozenges. Tyrozets alternative lozenges will be reviewed in this post.
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What were Tyrozets used for?
Tyrozets lozenges were a pharmacy-only medication (P) licensed in the management of sore throats and throat irritations, for example, following a surgical procedure to remove tonsils or other mouth procedures.
Tyrozets were advertised as a product with dual action, which contained two active ingredients. Firstly, Tyrozets quickly numbs the throat (a local anaesthetic action), helping with the management of the pain, and secondly, an antibiotic used in the formulation of lozenges ‘helps to fight the throat infection’.
Tyrozets: more about active ingredients
Tyrozets contained two active ingredients:
- Tyrothricin, an antibiotic
- Benzocaine, a local anaesthetic
Tyrothricin is classified as an antibiotic, although not used in any other form in the treatment of bacterial infections in the UK. Tyrothricin is a mixture of two different antibiotics gramicidin and tyrocidine.
Interestingly, tyrothricin is produced and extracted from the bacteria Bacillus brevis. Tyrothricin belongs to a group of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs). AMPs are produced by all organisms and play a role as the first-line defence against infections (Lang & Staiger, 2016).
Benzocaine is a local anaesthetic, which numbs the area to which it is applied and thus helps with the management of pain. Benzocaine can be found in other products used in conditions associated with pain, for example, oral gels (brand name: Orajel) to help with toothaches, or creams (brand name: Lanacane cream) for symptomatic relief of pain, irritation, and itching due to insect bites and other causes.
Tyrozets were discontinued in 2020, following concerns from the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) about the overuse of an antibiotic, Tyrothricin, which is one of the active ingredients found in Tyrozets.
MHRA quite rightly challenged the sale of Tyrozets, which contain tyrothricin. Although not available in any other form, tyrothricin is a combination of two different antibiotic compounds – gramicidin and tyrocidine.
Sore throat: when to see GP
Very often there is no need to see a doctor when a sore throat is present unless other symptoms are present or sore throat lasts a long time (see list below for more details).
- Symptoms lasting more than 7 days with no signs of improvement
- Severe symptoms (pain)
- Symptoms getting worse quickly
- Difficulty in swallowing or breathing
- Patients taking drugs which can lead to agranulocytosis (sudden lowering of white blood cells), for example, carbimazole, and methotrexate.
- Recent episodes of throat infection (for example tonsillitis)
Use of antibiotics for sore throat
Very often, episodes of sore throats are caused by viral infections. Sore throats caused by viral infection are self-limiting and do not require an antibiotic treatment. Symptoms usually last around 7 days.
Patients who decide to see their GP about a sore throat are usually assessed according to specific criteria, for example, FeverPAIN, which looks at different symptoms present. FeverPAIN criteria for antibiotic use in sore throat episodes look at the following:
- Presence of fever in the last 24 hours
- Presence of pus on tonsils
- Rapid attendance (within three days of symptoms appearance)
- Severity of inflamed tonsil
- No cough or inflammation of the nose
Highe score indicate more severe symptoms, with bacterial infection more likely causing the sore throat. Patients are given scores and according to the results, the decision on antibiotic need is made. Very often GP may recommend issuing a ‘stand by’ prescription, with recommended use, only if symptoms do not resolve within 3-5 days or get worse suddenly.
Unnecessary use of antibiotics contributes to antibiotic resistance – reduced effectiveness of antibiotics in treating bacterial infections.
Tyrozets alternative sore throat medicines
I previously reviewed some of the best lozenges for sore throat. This list of Tyrozets alternative throat medicines will provide a few more options for the symptomatic management of sore throats.
Can you get lozenges for sore throats which contain antibiotics?
No. At the moment UK patients cannot purchase antibiotics containing sore throat lozenges.
Where to buy Tyrozets alternative lozenges from?
The list of Tyrozets alternative lozenges includes mostly a pharmacy-only product (P). P medicines can only be sold in pharmacies, including online chemists. Additionally, P medicines are kept behind the pharmacy counter, away from the patient’s self-selection, therefore one needs to request it at the pharmacy counter.
What are the best Tyrozets alternative medicines?
1. Covonia Medicated Sore Throat Lozenges
Covonia Medicated Sore Throat 5mg/1mg Lozenges offer effective and soothing relief for the discomfort of sore throats. This product contains two active ingredients: Chlorhexidine dihydrochloride, which acts as an antiseptic, and Lidocaine hydrochloride, an anaesthetic that alleviates sore throat pain.
Sucking on these lozenges facilitates the targeted action of these ingredients in the affected area, providing relief. Additionally, they contribute to lubricating and soothing the painful throat.
Where to buy Covonia Medicated Lozenges?
Covonia Medicated Lozenges are pharmacy-only medicines.
2. Difflam Lozenges
Difflam Lozenges are effective due to their active ingredient, benzydamine hydrochloride. Benzydamine belongs to a class of medications known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which are designed to alleviate inflammation and throat pain. Benzydamine hydrochloride is primarily known for its anti-inflammatory and analgesic (pain-relieving) properties.
Benzydamine also has local anaesthetic properties. It can numb the area where it is applied, which provides immediate relief from pain and discomfort. This local anaesthetic effect can be particularly helpful in soothing sore throats and mouth irritations.
While benzydamine is primarily used for its anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects, it does possess some antimicrobial properties. It can inhibit the growth of certain microorganisms, which can be beneficial in preventing or treating infections in the mouth and throat. However, it is not a broad-spectrum antibiotic, and its antimicrobial activity is generally considered to be secondary to its anti-inflammatory and analgesic actions.
Difflam comes also in the form of a mouth spray and as an oral rinse.
Despite having one active ingredient, Difflam lozenges should be considered by anyone who is looking for Tyrozets alternative lozenges.
Where to buy Difflam sore throat lozenges?
Difflam sore throat lozenges are pharmacy-only medicines.
4. Chloralieve lozenges
Chloralieve lozenges are formulated with a trio of active ingredients that collaborate to provide soothing relief for your sore throat. Lidocaine, a local anaesthetic, effectively numbs the pain in your mouth and throat. Additionally, amylmetacresol and 2,4-dichlorobenzyl alcohol, both antiseptic agents, work to eliminate any bacteria that could exacerbate the irritation in your throat. Tyrozets alternative Chloralieve lozenges can also be considered as good Tyrozets alternative lozenges.
Where to buy Chloralieve lozenges?
Chloralieve throat lozenges are pharmacy-only medicines.
4. Strefen lozenges
Strefen sore throat Lozenges contain a single active ingredient called flurbiprofen. Flurbiprofen is a type of medication which is classified as a No-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drug (NSAID).
Flurbiprofen is a type of medicine that can help with pain, fever, and inflammation. It works by blocking a substance called prostaglandin in our bodies. Studies have shown that taking a small amount of flurbiprofen (8.75mg) in the form of a lozenge can reduce pain and inflammation in the throat.
It’s important to note that flurbiprofen can also affect the central nervous system, which is in charge of how we feel pain.
So, in simple terms, flurbiprofen is a medicine that can help with a sore throat, and it does this by blocking a substance that causes pain and inflammation in our bodies.
Despite having a unique active ingredient, Strefen lozenges do not contain ant antiseptic or antibacterial active ingredients, which possibly make them less advantageous from the other lozenges on the list of Tyrozets alternative lozenges.
Where to get Strefen lozenges?
Strefen lozenges are pharmacy-only medicines.
5. Are Strepsils a good Tyrozets alternative?
Strepsils Extra Triple Action lozenges
Strepsils Extra Triple action lozenges contain hexylresorcinol as an active ingredient.
Hexylresorcinol is an organic compound that is sometimes used in over-the-counter (OTC) medications and throat lozenges for its antiseptic properties. It belongs to a class of compounds known as phenolic antiseptics.
Hexylresorcinol may help soothe a sore throat indirectly by reducing the growth of bacteria or microorganisms in the throat, which can contribute to throat irritation or infection.
Other Strepsils lozenges as Tyrozets alternative
Strepsils range of over the counter of sore throat lozenges contains two different active ingredients to one found in Triple Action Strepsils: 2,4-dichlorobenzyl alcohol and amylmetacresol.
2,4-dichlorobenzyl alcohol is commonly used in various sore throat lozenges and throat sprays for its antiseptic properties. 2,4-Dichlorobenzyl alcohol is an effective antiseptic agent. It can kill or inhibit the growth of bacteria and microorganisms that may be present in the throat. This can be particularly useful in soothing and alleviating the symptoms of a sore throat, which can sometimes be caused or aggravated by bacterial infections.
When you have a sore throat, the throat tissues can become inflamed and vulnerable to infection. Throat lozenges containing 2,4-dichlorobenzyl alcohol can help reduce the risk of infection by addressing the microbial load in the throat.
Amylmetacresol is commonly added to throat lozenges due to its antiseptic properties. Additionally, amylmetacresol may help in reducing inflammation and provide some pain relief in the throat area.
6. Vocalzone throat lozenges
Vocalzone lozenges, also known as Vocalzone Throat Pastilles, are a brand of throat pastille or lozenge designed primarily to aid in maintaining a clear speaking or singing voice. They are particularly useful for those who rely heavily on their voice, such as professional or amateur singers, public speakers, and others who use their voice extensively in their work or hobbies.
7. Tyrozets alternative: common analgesic for sore throat
Paracetamol (also known as acetaminophen) and ibuprofen are both commonly used to relieve pain and reduce fever, and they can be effective in alleviating symptoms of a sore throat.
Paracetamol: It’s effective at relieving pain and reducing fever. Paracetamol is often recommended for those who cannot take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like ibuprofen. It’s generally considered gentler on the stomach.
Ibuprofen: This is an NSAID that not only relieves pain but also reduces inflammation, which can be particularly helpful in a sore throat caused by inflammation. Ibuprofen can also reduce fever.
Both of these medications can be effective for the symptomatic relief of sore throats, but they work in slightly different ways.
Sore throats, often caused by viral infections, are typically self-limiting and do not necessarily require antibiotics. Understanding the active ingredients in various lozenges is crucial for effective treatment. Options like Covonia, Difflam, Chloralieve, Strefen, and Strepsils offer various combinations of antiseptics, local anaesthetics, and NSAIDs, addressing different aspects of sore throat relief. Additionally, common analgesics like paracetamol and ibuprofen remain effective choices for reducing pain and inflammation associated with sore throats. It’s essential to choose a product based on the specific needs of the individual and the nature of their sore throat while being mindful of the growing concern over antibiotic resistance and the unnecessary use of antibiotics in self-limiting conditions.
Lang C, Staiger C. Tyrothricin (2016). An underrated agent for the treatment of bacterial skin infections and superficial wounds? Pharmazie. 2016 Jun;71(6):299-305. PMID: 27455547. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27455547/ Accessed on 21/12/2023